The name of the Social Security System has always been "Old Age, Survivors' and Disability Insurance." This is what it was designed to be, and this is what it still remains: an insurance plan, not an investment plan.
How is it that in the last few days I've seen ten articles from all the major newspapers, all of which scream that Obama's calling for cuts in Social Security and Medicare -- then go on to say nothing useful about Social Security, and absolutely nothing at all about Medicare?
The GOP banks that an administration hamstrung with a major deficit and a budget impasse will heighten public anxieties about the budget and spending and thus weaken Democrats. The Democrats in turn will continue to finger-point the GOP as the bad guy in the budget drama.
Here's an outrage that must be changed: Big Pharma has been systematically price-gouging the Medicare program for seniors and people with disabilities -- and raking in billions in excessive profits.
The rich snicker as the vast majority of Americans are so distracted they don't focus on record corporate profits, on record low corporate tax payments or on lobbyists buying tax breaks for corporations and loopholes for offshore accounts.
The Republican bargaining habit is well-established -- take Obama's "final" offer as the new starting point and demand further concessions. With this strategy, our president has let them take him to the cleaners for more than four years now, and is still hoping that sweet reasonableness will produce compromise. It never has and never will. If Democrats stand for anything, it is defense of Social Security and Medicare -- America's two most broadly beneficial and most beloved government programs -- and the president just gave away this last bit of product differentiation. In the past, Republicans have saved Obama from himself by refusing to consider any tax hikes. Now, I'm beginning to think, it's time for Democrats save him from himself. And the Democratic Party. And us.
It's hard to watch as Medicare is offered up for cuts while taxes are increased on virtually everything but tobacco. I agree with my politically conservative friends. Let's not raise taxes on tobacco.
This way of paying for the ongoing bailouts of Wall Street was Obama's plan even before he had entered the White House.
I can't say, on the basis of evidence, that NIH is misdirecting vast fortunes from where they could do the most good within our lifetimes. But I certainly do believe it. What I can say is that biomedical research dollars are subject to the same myopia that tends to dominate our personal lives.
An analysis by the President's Council of Economic Advisors shows that lowering the growth rate of health care costs by 1.5 percentage points per year will increase the real income of middle-class families by $2,600 in 2020; $10,000 in 2030; and $24,300 by 2040. That's real relief for real people.
The president has been spending the last year and a half talking about how he wants to fight for the middle class, and his budget should reflect those values. This is why it is so deeply troubling that Obama is strongly considering putting a Social Security cut into his budget document.
This is how America's "free market" works. But it is also how Americans spend twice as much per person and receive inferior health care, as compared to other industrialized countries. And now, with Obamacare, it is how these subsidies will be increased, not reduced, and the federal government's debt will rise even higher than is being projected, while the largest corporations will thrive.
The question's been asked for four years: Why would Obama want to cut these popular and successful programs, especially when there are better solutions out there? It's time to ask a new question.
Before she decides to completely give up a career in public service, here are five things that Ashley Judd should know.
There are four dangerous fiscal fables afloat. Paul Krugman, who has been pleading for more deficit spending on a continuous basis in his New York Times column, is hawking all four fables. Pity our children if our policymakers continue to take his views seriously.
Watch out, fellow Baby Boomers. If the day comes when the youth of this country wake up to understand their own interests and make their voices heard, there will be hell to pay.